Illinois Holocaust museum marks State Dept. grant


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Congress members from Illinois attended a ceremony at the state’s Holocaust museum marking a State Department grant to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation.

U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez and Mike Quigley, all Democrats, attended Wednesday’s ceremony at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Ill., acknowledging a five-year, $15 million grant to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation to help preserve the former Nazi concentration camp.

The event was hosted jointly by the museum and the Polish consulate in Chicago. Among others on hand were the Polish consul general, the museum’s president, Jewish organizational officials and Holocaust survivors.

The grant, announced in July by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, resulted from concerns that Auschwitz and Birkenau are sites of vandalism and that the buildings are not being adequately preserved. The State Department will contribute the money over five years to an endowment beginning in fiscal year 2012. 

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